Signs is a great game to play with your youth group whenever you have a few people sitting around without much to do. It’s a basic circle game with one person who gets to be “it.” The object is for the people in the circle to pass a hand signal from person to person without getting caught in the act by the person who is “it.” This may seem like a simple challenge, but it’s a lot trickier, and funnier than you might imagine.
To start off, everyone needs his or her own “sign.” This sign could be a tug of the earlobe, a scratch of the chin or a flash of a peace sign. The simpler the gesture the better – a lot of arm flapping will make you easier to catch.
The play starts with “it” in the center, eyes closed and counting aloud to ten. The last person who was “it” starts the game by catching a neighbor’s eye and flashing that person’s sign. The neighbor accepts the sign by flashing her sign in return. She is now vulnerable to be caught by “it” until she can pass the sign to someone else in the circle, which she does by making that person’s particular gesture. It’s pretty simple and the sneakier you can be, the better.
Once the person who is “it” has counted to ten he can open his eyes and start guessing who has the sign in her possession. There is no penalty for making a wrong guess but it’s not good form to fire off names machine-gun style. The game is more fun when “it” uses deduction, observation and quick ninja-like spins to see what’s going on behind his back.
Say, for example, that Chad is “it.”
As he counts to ten Trudy tugs her ear to pass the sign to Luke. Luke tugs his ear to receive the sign.
Chad opens his eyes facing Luke but doesn’t guess Luke’s name. Luke waits until Chad is looking away and then flashes Susan’s sign – making crossed eyes.
Now Chad is looking straight at Susan. “Do you have the sign?” he says.
“No,” she answers honestly. Susan hadn’t yet “received” the sign from Luke. So Chad, figuring that the sign is behind him, spins and looks straight at Luke.
“Luke, you’ve got the sign!” Chad says. But while his back was turned Susan crosses her eyes, receiving the sign and then points her finger like a gun to pass the sign to Dana.
This game is easier to play than it is to write up. And it’s a lot of fun.